Baby giraffe born at Zoo Knoxville. She is the first giraffe birth at Zoo Knoxville in 17 years. This is also the first offspring for three-year-old Frances and 16-year-old male Jumbe. The two were paired on the recommendation of the Giraffe Species Survival Plan, a collaboration of zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) working to save giraffes from extinction.
The population of wild giraffes has declined dramatically over the last few years, and now there are fewer than 100,000 giraffes left in Africa, the Zoo said. They are threatened by habitat loss, competition with growing human populations and being hunted for bushmeat. With a recent 40% decrease in their populations, giraffes are now critically endangered.